The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

In Memory-Peter Feresten

Peter Feresten, associate professor of photography on NE Campus, died Sunday, Sept. 16, at his Fort Worth home.
Peter Feresten, associate professor of photography on NE Campus, died Sunday, Sept. 16, at his Fort Worth home.

By Susan Tallant/editor-in-chief

Peter Feresten, associate professor of photography on NE Campus, confers with students during a photo assignment. Feresten died Sunday, Sept. 16, at his Fort Worth home. He touched the lives of TCC students and colleagues for more than 30 years.  Photo courtesy Mark Penland
Peter Feresten, associate professor of photography on NE Campus, confers with students during a photo assignment. Feresten died Sunday, Sept. 16, at his Fort Worth home. He touched the lives of TCC students and colleagues for more than 30 years. Photo courtesy Mark Penland

A bohemian in the truest sense of the word is how one colleague described Peter Feresten after his death last week following a long illness.

“ The guy lived a very full life, I will miss him and his insane stories,” Mark Penland, associate instructor of art, graphic communication and photography, said.

Peter Helms Feresten, associate professor of photography at TCC for more than 30 years, passed away Sunday, Sept. 16, at home.

Described as a great artist, amazing photographer, dedicated teacher and friend, Feresten was responsible for the growth and focus of the photography department on NE Campus. He touched the lives of TCC students and colleagues for more than 30 years.

“ He was universally loved,” Penland said. “There are people who have studied with him for decades. Most every art photographer who studied in North Texas at one point found themselves at Peter’s door.” Penland, who worked with Feresten for 15 years, said beyond the rough exterior was an intelligent, extremely well-educated guy who could communicate with anybody, from a campus president to a hooker on the street.

“ He was the smartest guy in the room, but he preferred you didn’t realize that,” Penland said.

Peter Feresten, associate professor of photography on NE Campus, died Sunday, Sept. 16, at his Fort Worth home.   Photo courtesy Mark Penland
Peter Feresten, associate professor of photography on NE Campus, died Sunday, Sept. 16, at his Fort Worth home. Photo courtesy Mark Penland

Penland said Feresten not only taught him patience, but modeled how to be a successful adult and still be an artist.

Richard Doherty, associate professor of photography, said Feresten was very dedicated to both his students and to his personal work.

“ Peter was an excellent photographer and one and of the best photography teachers I have ever known,” he said.

Doherty helped Feresten design the photography department and put together a curriculum in the ’80s when the NCAB building was conceived. He said it was a unique opportunity for both of them.

“ We got to apply our own ideas to the design of the photographic facility,” he said. “We co-coordinated the photo madness in the art department for 25 years.”

Feresten was very popular with students. Some even refer to his following as “The cult of Peter.”

Soohyun (Stone) Kim, a South Campus nursing student who studied photography on NE Campus, said Feresten was quiet, kind and always willing to help students produce high quality photos.

“ Feresten showed me how to put more depth into my photos,” he said.

He said the instructor would often walk up to him in the darkroom and quietly remind him, “The white should be brighter and the black should be really dark.”

Photo courtesy Mark Penland
Photo courtesy Mark Penland

Feresten received a master’s degree from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. He was known for photographing the Fort Worth area including the stockyards of the 1970s, churches, blues clubs, biker bars and the black community. In 2004, the Arts Center and the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County named Feresten a Distinguished Texas Artist.

Photo courtesy Mark Penland
Photo courtesy Mark Penland
Photo courtesy Mark Penland
Photo courtesy Mark Penland
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